THE BARD'S WORKSHOPS
Our workshops invite actors and students to explore an embodied approach of Shakespeare’s words. We offer workshops for all levels, from professional actors to amateur groups and schools.
We strongly believe live theatre and active workshops are crucial educational tools to engage with Shakespeare's verse. Whether your students are preparing for GCSE's or having their first insight into Shakespearean text, we can provide the perfect tailored experience for all levels.
Bard in Your School Yard Workshops
Close your books and look up from your desks! William Shakespeare is here to tell you all about his life in 1606. Kicking of the workshop in style, choose which play you would like your students to help Shakespeare write: 'King Leonardo' or 'The Scottish Play.' Students will learn about Queen Elizabeth and King James I, Shakespeare’s company and the Globe playhouse, and all about the Bard’s competitions: bear-baiting and Ben Jonson!
The show's not over yet! A workshop with the Bard will get your students on their feet: warm-up and pronunciation exercises will be paired with movement and script notes. Each student will come out of this 1-hour session having memorised and performed a line of Shakespeare’s verse. We guarantee that after this, iambic pentameter will never seem daunting again! We believe that Shakespeare should be fun. We guarantee that Bard in the Yard is an experience that none of your students will ever forget!
Embodying Shakespeare Workshops
Too often, verse will be dissected so much that the actor will find themselves paralysed by multiple meanings, associations, and metaphors and be at a loss on how to best do what it is they need to do: convey the emotional life of the character and strive to make things happen on stage.
Embodying Shakespeare starts with the body. We will awaken the body to truth, to strength, to vitality. Our body’s intelligence is primordial when tackling Shakespeare’s works, because his words were chiselled at a time when people had a much closer relationship with their bodies and their senses (count references in Shakespeare to eyes, mouth, tongue, liver, feet – any body part). By the end of the workshop participants will have a more profound understanding of the text, and a richer texture and soundscape through various exercises and targeted work.
Victoria Gartner has been teaching Shakespeare for many years. She delivers workshops in schools and universities, as well as for professional actors in both French and English. She combines her extensive academic knowledge of Shakespeare with her artistic and directing work, and her method of unlocking Shakespeare’s emotional beats is through embodiment. Her movement work is inspired from working with teachers and mentors Paul Oertel and Kath Burlinson, and her verse work owes to the wisdom of Peter Hall, Peter Brook and Cicely Berry. She is passionate about the rhythm of Shakespeare’s words, and how much their meaning and ring can appeal to our shared humanity. She teaches drama as Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust, and is a regular director and Shakespeare module leader at East15 Acting School.
“Victoria unlocks Shakespeare and turns preconceived notions upside down. She helped me find what Shakespeare's words really are: universal, simple, honest and aching with purpose.”
"I had a lot of fear towards Shakespeare and I used to say to myself that "Shakespeare is too difficult for me." If Victoria hadn't offered her fun, informative and juicy Shakespeare sessions this winter, I probably wouldn't have had enough courage to do a Shakespeare monologue in front of other people. She really pushed me and taught me how fun Shakespeare can really be!"
“Working on Shakespeare can be daunting but through the sessions with Victoria I learnt how to free myself of that and in the process allowing the text to work for me by exploring physicality to get into character and language. It is so much fun and you soon realise that there was nothing to worry about.”
“Victoria breathes life into Shakespeare like no other! Her passion, enthusiasm and love of Shakespeare's work is infectious! She creates a wonderful rehearsal environment in which you feel empowered to play the stakes - thank you so much Victoria!”